Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: George Wilkins
Editors: Tom Bishop, Andrew Forsberg
Not Peer Reviewed

Wilkins: The Adventures of Pericles (Quarto)

The tenth Chapter.

How Marina being thus solde to a Bawde, preserued her virginitie, 1475and how shee conuerted all that euer came to make hire of her beauty from the loosenesse of their desires.

Marina was no sooner thus concluded for, by the hee Bawde, but the Pyrates were as soone brought home to his masters house, and receiued their payment, when after their departure, she giuing commaund 1480to the Pander her man, that he should goe backe into the Market place, and there with open crie proclaime, what a picture of Nature they had at home, for euery lasciuious eie to gaze vpon. The she Bawd beganne to instruct her, with what complement she should entertaine her customers: she first asked her, if she were a vir/- gine. When Marina replyed, she 1485thanked the Gods, shee neuer knew what it was to be otherwise. In so being quoth the she bawde, you haue beene well: but now in plaine tearmes I must teach you how to be worse. It is not goodnesse in you (quoth Marina) to teach me to be so: for goodnes answerd the bawd, it is a Lecture, such as we vse seldome, and our consciences neuer reade one 1490to another, and therefore attend vnto me: you must now be like a stake for euery man to shoote at, you must be like a foord that must receiue all waters, you must haue the benefite of all nations, and seeme to take delight in all men. I thanke my starres, answered Marina, I am displeased with none: for by this answere it appeared such was the puritie of her minde, that 1495she vnderstoode not what this deuills sollicitor pleaded vnto her: but she quickely taking her off, told in more immodest phrase, that shee had payde for her, and that she and all her body was hers, that will ye nill ye she must now be what she her selfe had beene (and there is seldome any bawde, but before time, hath beene a whoore) that to conclude, shee had 1500bought her like a beast, and shee meant to hire her out.

When she vnderstanding vnwillingly what all these wordes tended vnto, she fell prostrate at her feete, and with teares showred downe in aboundaunce, she intreated her, not to make hire of her bodie to so diseasefull a vse, which shee hoped the gods had ordained to a more happy 1505purpose. When the bawde answered her, Come, come, these droppes auaile thee not, thou arte now mine, and I will make my best of thee: and I must now learne you to know, we whom the worlde calles Bawdes, but more properly are to be stiled Factors for men, are in this like the hangman, neither to regard prayers, nor teares, but our owne profite. So calling 1510for her slaue, which was gouernour ouer her she-houshold, this was her appoyntment vnto him, Goe quoth shee and take this Mayden, as shee is thus decked in costly apparrell (for it is to be remembred, that the former Pirates had no way dispoyled her of her ornaments, with purpose to prise her at the higher rate) and leading her along, this be the crie 1515thorow the whole Citty, That whosoeuer desireth the purchase of so wondrous a beauty, shall for his first enioying her, pay tenne peeces of golde, and that afterward shee shall be common vnto the people for one peece at a time. Which will of hers, Marina being no way able to resist, but with her sorrowe, onely desiring of the good gods, to be 1520protectors of her chastitie: She with this her slaue was hurried along, and who with the tenour of his priapine proclamation, had so awaked the intemperaunce of the whole Cittie, that against her returne, of high and low there was a full crowding at the doore, euery man carrying his money in his hand, and thinking him the happiest man that might first haue 1525accesse. But heauen who is still a protector of Vertue against Vice, ordayned this for Marina, that the sending her abroad, with purpose, first to shew her, and after, to make sale of her to the worlde, was the onely meanes to defend her in the state of her virginitie. For as she was (as before is saide) led along, and thousands of people wondring 1530about her, and flocking as it had beene so many flies, to infect so delicate a preseruatiue, it happened that Lysimachus the cheefe gouernour of Meteline, looking out at his windowe, to obserue what strange occasion drew the giddy hauocke of people, to muster themselues into such throngs: he, not without great admiration obserued, that it was to make boote of 1535so pretious a beauty, whose inflaming colours which Nature had with her best Arte placed vppon her face, compelled him to censure, that she was rather a deseruing bed-fellow for a Prince, than a play-fellow for so rascally an assembly: so pittying awhile her, misfortune, that it was so hard to be throwne into the iaws of two such poisonous and deuouring 1540serpents, a Pandar, and a Bawde, yet at last, being inflamed with a little sinnefull concupiscence, by the power of her face, he resolued himselfe that since shee must fall, it were farre more fitter, into his owne armes, whose authoritie could stretch to doe her good, than into the hote imbracements of many, to her vtter ruine; so presently dismissing away 1545a seruant of his, he gaue him charge, to giue in charge to the Bawd, that at the returne home, of this new peece of merchandise of hers, as shee respected, or in time of neede would be beholding to his fauour, (and Heauens forfend but Bawdes nowe and then should stand in neede of anthoritie) she should keepe her priuate from the conference of any, for 1550hee himselfe that night late in the euening, in secret, and in some disguise, would (for her guests sake) visite her house. There needed no further incouragement to bid the Bawde stirre vp her damnable limbes to make all fit. It was enough in this, that the Gouernour had sent worde, it was he that was to come. But hauing giuen the best garnish she could to 1555her sinnefull habitation: and Marina being returned home againe by the Pandar, who had ledde her vp and downe as Beare-heards leade beares, for shew first, and to be baited after: Shee tooke her vp with her into a priuate Chamber, when the fruite of her instructions were, how she should now learne to behaue her selfe, for she had fortunes comming vppon her, she was nowe to 1560be receiued, respected, and regarded of a man that was honourable. Heauen graunt that I may finde him so, quoth Marina. Thou needest not doubt it sweete heart, quoth the Bawde, for though I tell it thee in priuate, which for a million he would not haue to be knowne publikely: Hee is no woorse a man thou arte shortly to deale withall, than the Gouernour of this whole 1565Citty, a Gentleman that is curteous, a fauourer of our calling, one that will as soone haue his hand in his pocket, as such a pretty dilling as thou shalt come in his eye, and not as most of our Gentlemen doe, drawe it out empty, but filling it full of golde, will most Ioue-like rayne it downe in to his Danaes lap. In briefe, he is a Nobleman, and, which is a 1570thing which we respect more than his nobilitie, he is liberall: he is curteous, and thou mayest commaund him, he is vertuous and thou mayest learne of him. All these indeede, answered Marina, are properties, due vnto so worthy a Gentleman, whom you picture him to be: and if he be liberall in good, I shall be glad to taste of his bountie: if curteous, I shall as willingly 1575become his seruant: and if vertuous, it shal be in me no way to make him vicious. Well, well, well, sayes the Bawde, we must haue no more of this puling, and I must haue you learne to know, vice is as hereditary to our house, as the olde barne to your countrey beggar. But as shee would haue proceeded with more of these her diuelish counsells, hastily into the 1580Chamber came the Pandar vnto them, who as hote as a taste, with his haste to bring the newes he told them, that the Lorde Lysimachm was come, and if the word Come had beene his kew, he entred the Chamber with the master bawde, when the whole frie of sinners cursying about him very largely, as the Prologue to his entertainment, distributed golde among them, then as 1585roundly demaunded, for that same fresh peece of stuffe, which by their proclamation they tolde, they had now to make sale of, and he of set purpose was come to haue a sight of.

When they all poynting toward Marina, told him there shee was, and for our selues, quoth they, we hauing done the office of right Chamberlaines, 1590brought you together, we will shut the doore after vs, and so leaue you. Who no sooner departed, but Lysimachus the Gouernour began to demaund of her the performaunce of that for which he came. When shee prostrating her selfe at his feete, intreated him to take pitty of her, and from poynt to poynt (excepting her birth, and death of her parents) discoursed vnto him the whole story of 1595her misfortunes: as that by the practise of Dyonysa, and cruelty of Leonine, she should haue beene murthered. And how it pleased the Gods to rescue her from that ruine by certaine Pyrates, who after solde her to this brothell, where, most vnhappy, he was witnesse she remayned. Then gentle Sir, quoth shee, since heauen hath been so gratious, to restore me from death, let not 1600their good to me, be a meanes for you, to be author of my more misfortune. But the Gouernour suspecting these teares, but to be some new cunning, which her matron the Bawde had instructed her in, to drawe him to a more large expence: He as freely tolde her so and now beganne to be more rough with her vrging her, that he was the Gouernour, whose authoritie coulde wincke 1605at those blemishes, her selfe, and that sinnefull house could cast vppon her, or his displeasure punish at his owne pleasure, which displeasure of mine, thy beauty shall not priuiledge thee from, nor my affection, which hath drawen me vnto this place abate, if thou with further lingering withstand me. By which wordes, she vnderstanding him to be as confident 1610in euill, as she was constant in good, she intreated him but to be heard, and thus she beganne.

If as you say (my Lorde) you are the Gouernour, let not your authoritie, which should teach you to rule others, be the meanes to make you mis-gouerne your selfe: If the eminence of your place came vnto you by discent, and the 1615royalty of your blood, let not your life prooue your birth a bastard: If it were throwne vpon you by opinion, make good, that opinion was the cause to make you great. What reason is there in your Iustice, who hath power ouer all, to vndoe any? If you take from mee mine honour, you are like him, that makes a gappe into forbidden ground, after whome too many enter, and you are 1620guiltie of all their euilles: my life is yet vnspotted, my chastitie vnstained in thought. Then if your violence deface this building, the workemanship of heauen, made vp for good, and not to be the exercise of sinnes intemperaunce, you do kill your owne honour, abuse your owne iustice, and impouerish me. Why quoth Lysimachus, this house wherein thou liuest, is euen the receptacle of 1625all mens sinnes, and nurse of wickednesse, and how canst thou then be otherwise then naught, that liuest in it? It is not good, answered Marina, when you that are the Gouernour, who should liue well, the better to be bolde to punish euill, doe knowe that there is such a roofe, and yet come vnder it. Is there a necessitie (my yet good Lord) if there be fire before me, that I must strait then thither 1630flie and burne my selfe? Or if suppose this house (which too too many feele such houses are) should be the Doctors patrimony, and Surgeons feeding; folowes it therefore, that I must needs infect my self to giue them maintenance? O my good Lord, kill me, but not deflower me, punish me how you please, so you spare my chastitie, and since it is all the dowry that both the Gods haue giuen, and 1635men haue left to me, do not you take it from me; make me your seruant, I will willingly obey you; make mee your bondwoman, I will accompt it freedome; let me be the worst that is called vile, so I may still liue honest, I am content: or if you thinke it is too blessed a happinesse to haue me so, let me euen now, now in this minute die, and Ile accompt my death more happy than my birth. With 1640which wordes (being spoken vpon her knees) while her eyes were the glasses that carried the water of her mis-hap, the good Gentlewoman being mooued, hee lift her vp with his hands, and euen then imbraced her in his hart, saying aside: surely this is Virtues image, or rather, vertues selfe, sent downe from heauen, a while to raigne on earth, to teach vs what we should be. So in steede of willing her 1645to drie her eyes, he wiped the wet himselfe off, and could haue found in his heart, with modest thoughts to haue kissed her, but that hee feared the offer would offend her. This onely hee sayde, Lady, for such your vertues are, a farre more worthy stile your beuty challenges, and no way lesse your beauty can promise me that you are, I hither came with thoughtes intemperate, foule 1650and deformed, the which your paines so well haue laued, that they are now white, continue still to all so, and for my parte, who hither came but to haue payd the price, a peece of golde for your virginitie, now giue you twenty to releeue your honesty. It shall become you still to be euen as you are, a peece of goodnesse, the best wrought vppe, that euer Nature made, and if that 1655any shall inforce you ill, if you but send to me, I am your friend. With which promise, leauing her presence, she most humbly thanked the Gods for the preseruation of her chastitie, and the reformation of his mind.

Lysimachus though departed thus, intended not to leaue her so, but with diligent eyes to attend, how shee behaued her selfe to all other, who should haue 1660admittance to her, and for that purpose, hauing power to commaund the Bawde, hee placed himselfe in the next Chamber where he might heare, euen to a sillable, whatsoere passed, where he was no sooner setled with a former charge giuen to the bawd, that any man should haue accesse to her, but by turnes, he heard she had also won others, and preserued herselfe from them, as she had formerly done 1665against him, gaining tenne times as much of profite by her prayers and teares, as she should haue doone by prostituting her beauty to their willes: at last, all of them being departed, and the house vnfrequented, onely of their owne housholde, and of the Gouernour, the bawde standing ready at the doore, as hee should goe out, making his obeysaunce vnto him as hee should returne, in hope 1670of his fee or rewarde, hee with an angry brow turned towards him, saying, Villaine, thou hast a house heere, the weight of whose sinne would sincke the foundation, euen vnto hell, did not the vertue of one that is lodged therein, keepe it standing; and so, as it were inraged, giuing them nothing, he departed. By which displeasure of his, the whole swarme of bawdes (as truely it was) ghessed, 1675that their new tenaunt, had not beene pliant to his will: and all rushing in hastily vppon her, first taking away the golde which the charitie (and not iniury of all who had beene there) had giuen her to releeue her with, they cried against her, they should be all vndoone by her, their house would grow vncustomed, and their trading would fall to decay, by her squeamishnesse, and want of 1680familiaritie to their Clients, resoluing now, that there was no way to bring her vnto their bowe, but by hauing her rauished. For it is to be noted, not any that the house besides Lysimachus, but euen as he did, so they in like manner rayled against them, so forcibly had hir perswasions preuailed with them: whereupon, for that purpose they gaue her vp to the Pandar, who first agreed for her, saying; 1685That he that had bargained for the whole ioynt, it was fittest for him to cut a morsel from off the spit. So leauing them together, and telling him, they gaue her vp to his power, to doe euen what he would with her: the man and wife (though both bawdes) departed, when the pandar going to her, tolde her, that he, his master, nor their antient family would as thus long they had beene, be vndoone 1690by ere a Puritane peece of them all. And therefore quoth he; Come on and resolue your selfe without more whining, for I am but the bawdes seruant. The bawde hath commaunded me, and euery seruant by the Indenture of his duety, is bound to obey his master: So catching her rashly by the hand, as he would haue inforced her to his will; she first calling on Diana patronesse of Chastitie to defend her, fell 1695likewise downe at his feete, and besought him but to heare her: which being graunted, she demaunded of him what thing he could wish himselfe to be, which was more vile than he was, or more hatefull than he would make himselfe to be? Why my master or my mistris (quoth the villaine) I thinke, who haue all the sinnes subiect to mankind raigning in them, and are (indeede) as bad as the Diuell himselfe: yet 1700(quoth Marina) thou goest about to be worse then they, and to doe an office at their setting on, which thy master himselfe hath more pitty then to attempt, to robbe me of mine honour, which in spite of them and thee, the Gods (who I hope will protect it still) haue till this breathing protected, to leprous my chast thoghts, with remembrance of so foule a deede, which thou then shalt haue doone, 1705to damne thine owne soule, by vndooing of mine. At which word, the Villaine being strucke into some remorce, and standing in a pawse, Marina went forward, and tolde him; If thou wantest golde, there is some for thee (part of that she had reserued which before was giuen hir, from the bawdes knowledge:) or if thou wantest maintenaunce, prouide mee but some residence in an honest house, and I haue 1710experience in many things which shall labour for thee, as namely, I am skilfull in the seauen Liberall Sciences, well exercised in all studies, and dare approoue this, that my skill in singing and playing on Instruments exceeds any in the citty: therefore (quoth she) as thou before didst proclame my beuty in the market to the open world, whereby to haue made me a common prostitute, so now agayne proclame my 1715vertues vnto them, and I doubt not but this honorable citty will affoord schollers sufficient, the instructing of whome will returne profile enough, both to repay the Maister what hee payed out for me, prouide an honester course for thee then this thou liuest in; and giue a quiet content vnto my selfe. Sooth (quoth the Villaine) being now mooued vnto much more compassion of her; If you haue (as you 1720say) these qualities, I will labour with my Master, and doe my best for your release. If not (answered Marina, I giue thee free leaue to bring me backe againe, and prostitute me to that course which was first pretended for me. In briefe, the Villaine so laboured with the bawde his maister, that though hee woulde not giue her leaue to depart his house, yet in hope of the profit, which would come in by her other qualities, she should stay in his house, and none, with her former 1725greeuances disturbe her, and withall, charged the Pander to set vp a Bill in the Market place, of her excellencie in speaking, and in singing. At the report of which there crowded as many to the bawdes great profite to be delighted with her woorth, as there came before to haue made spoyle of her vertue, and not any man but gaue her money largely, and departed contented, onely aboue the rest the Lorde 1730Lysimachus had euermore an especiall regarde in the preseruation of her safety no otherwise than if she had beene descended from himselfe, and rewarded the villaine very liberally for the diligent care hee had ouer her.